While Hollywood has seen many eras, the Golden Age between the 1920s and 1960s, may have had the greatest influence on society. This was a period where many famous movie actors were at their peak and several classic films were released. MGM, Paramount, Fox, Warner Bros and RKO are the studios that dominated the making of major motion pictures during Hollywood’s Golden Age and were in charge of every aspect of a movie’s production. Here are five of the best movies that were produced during this era1
1. Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane, a classic masterpiece released in 1941, is well known for its remarkable scenes, cinematic and narrative techniques. Produced by Orson Welles, this film is rated by critics as one of the greatest films ever made and as one of the pinnacles of Hollywood’s Golden Age. It is a biographical film that explores Charles Foster Kane’s life and legacy. After Kane passes away at the beginning of the movie, a reporter interviews people who knew him and the significance of his last word “Rosebud.” Flashbacks of Kane’s life are shown to accompany the interviews.
2. Around the World in Eighty Days
This 1956 American movie is one of adventure, comedy and history, based on the 1873 novel by Jules Verne. It is centered around Phileas Fogg, played by David Niven, a gentleman adventurer, who sets off on a journey to circumnavigate the globe and return home in eighty days after he bets that he can do so. While on his quest, Fogg is hounded by a persistent police inspector, Mr. Fix, who suspects Fogg of chicanery. Fogg is accompanied by his stalwart manservant, Passepartout.
3. Gone With The Wind
The 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell serves as the basis for the epic American historical romance film Gone with the Wind released in 1939. This movie is set in Georgia during the American Civil War. The beautiful but manipulative and selfish Scarlett O’Hara, daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, has a turbulent romance with a rogue profiteer. This movie was quite popular for years after its release and won eight Academy Awards.
4. The Grapes of Wrath
John Ford’s 1940 drama film “The Grapes of Wrath” is an American production based on the 1939 novel by John Steinbeck who won the Pulitzer Prize. It is centered on a family from Oklahoma that is forced from their farm by the Dust Bowl’s destitution and hopelessness, and migrates westward to California, where they experience the hardships of being homeless during the Great Depression. The themes of resiliency and courage are emphasized in this film. It is a gripping anxious mellow drama that is incredibly realistic and full of social and political explosions.
5. King Kong
Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack directed and produced the 1933 American pre-code adventure fantasy horror monster movie “King Kong.” One of the most recognizable movie scenes features a twenty-five-foot-tall ape on top of the Empire State Building, holding a distraught blonde in the palm of his hand while military planes try to take him down. This scene comes from the movie “King Kong.” The methods used to create King Kong were seen as cutting edge at that time. The use of miniature models, trick photography and incredible stop motion made this movie an epic one.
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